Hi there! If you have been following us around lately you might remember that PJ Harvey most recent record got a mixed review here. It’s not that we don’t like Polly Jean anymore, on the contrary, we still think she is one of the best singer-songwriters around and couldn’t be happier she touched down in Amsterdam yesterday.
Earlier this year I talked a bit about about Anna Meredith’s move from the classical scene to the world of electronica. Nowadays this sort of crossovers are not that uncommon anymore. Naturally avant-garde rock band Deerhoof could not hang back with this hype going on and melted together with the classical outfit of Ensemble Dal Niente to chip in. And oh man, it’s exciting! Continue reading
When I was a toddler I often wondered what it would be like to be inside our washing machine. The spinning cycle was pretty hypnotizing to watch, so at the time I thought being inside a drum with all that warm soapy clothing would be a gentle experience. Of course my parents never allowed me to give it a try and I forgot all about it. Until I heard Anna Meredith that is.
So what’s still to say about Neil Young? He co-founded Buffalo Springfield, hooked up with Crosby, Stills & Nash, released dozens of studio albums and almost single handedly laid the foundations of the grunge rock sound. At the age of 70, Young is one of the few musicians of old that is still going strong. Last saturday Don Grungio visited The Netherlands as part of his European tour with Promise of the Real and naturally, we traveled to Amsterdam to see the good man at work.
As you might have guessed last solstice was reason enough for us to draw up a list with our best albums of 2016 until this day. Here goes!
Hinds delivers a stable fundament, a catchy upbeatness and a strong no-nonsense sentiment on their first studio album. A splendid achievement of a group of young friends who again prove that the future belongs to the young (WRM – SftDS review).
After an excellent, old school comeback, German metal machine Iron Savior shows that lightning can indeed strike twice. An excellent power metal album, with a host of varied and pumping tunes (RP).
Channel the Spirits – The Comet Is Coming
Channel the Spirits breaks through the traditional jazz swing and brings very danceable jazz funk. The ensemble taps into the work of free jazz pioneers such John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders and Sun Ra. Highly recommended (WRM). ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Getting slightly less dark and more retro rocking with each new release, this American band is still a standout in the barrage of retro bands kicking about at the moment. Less heavy, but a little more mature than before (RP).
Finally The Heliocentrics definitely found their niche by bringing together all experience they have gathered around them in recent years. From The Deep is raw and conceptually challenging but moreover. It’s a piece of work to turn inside out over and over again (WRM – SftDS review).
The brothers Tolis return with another collection of their own particular brand of ethnic-upped black-ish metal. Which is something you’d not read on the back of the box very soon. Ethnic-upped probably isn’t even a thing. Still, a great album (RP – SftDS review).
Dutch musician Jameszoo combines Hip hop, jazz, dubstep, R&B and Brazilian music and also is inspired by the medieval painter Hieronymus Bosch. Jameszoo himself calls his debut album Fool a collection of “naive, computer jazz”. I fully agree, so I pitty the fool who doesn’t pick up on this album soon… (WRM – SftDS review).
King is the culmination of years of work for this Italian band, finally marrying classical music and black metal like a Rhapsody of Fire steroids. A triumph for Fleshgod Apocalypse, and an album to keep coming back to (RP).
A Man Alive is an adventurous album and offers listeners a record that is simply full of plain old fun and at the same time is interesting enough to keep playing throughout 2016. Outstanding job Thao (WRM – SftDS review)!
Almost half a year in, Blackstar is still the most intruiging, mysterious and downright fascinating record out there. Bowie’s last album is a masterpiece of jazz fusion and its dark as night itself, both musically as well as lyrically. Unsettling and brilliant (RP – SftDS review).
Indeed, jazz fusion, free jazz and jazz funk are gaining terrain. How about that!? Perhaps it has something to do with age, who knows. Anyway, have a nice summer and see you on the other side.
Ralph Plug & Wander Meulemans – 290616
Following the spacy film score to The Last Transmission (2014) The Heliocentrics decided to pick up where they left us in 2013 with 13 Degrees of Reality and with that I mean releasing work solely under their own name. Although the jazz-funk collective usually collaborates with others they are also very capable to push the musical boundaries forward themselves. If you take out all collaborations, From The Deep their third album and as you’ve might have guessed, again is of a sun swallowing nature.